Behind the lines

CBS’ new blog bravely, transparently, and wisely invited Jay Rosen to write a guest post and he didn’t waste the opportunity to speak directly to the people of CBS News about Rathergate, a year later.

It’s a pity that the people of CBS News do not speak back.

I fear they’ll fear doing that — and also that they’ll look at the post and see that, unfortunately, trolls have moved into the comments and the discussion there is not deep. That is not helped by CBS’ inexplicable decision to put a 500-character limit on comments (this isn’t TV, folks: bits are not scarce) as well as its decision to shut off comments after 24 hours (time’s no longer scarce, either, guys). The discussion over at Jay’s blog, under the same essay, is much better: more substance, more intelligence, more relevance, more to chew on.

And that says a lot: Jay has built a community of conversation — around what we used to think of as a reputation, or even as a brand — and CBS has not yet done that on its blog (though it is a bit soon for that). But isn’t that interesting: The giant and allegedly venerated institution of professionalism has a tougher time getting a good conversation going than the lone prof with no tangible media assets.

Jay’s post is good but just as with Rathergate itself, the aftermath that’s just as interesting.